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ktof
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Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:31 am

Bizarre Experience at PMI

Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:39 pm

Hi Everyone,

I recently flew into PMI on a family holiday from MAN on the FR2326 last Saturday.
Completely normal flights, nothing to write home about.

We disembarked at PMI as normal, collected our bags (albeit after waiting 90 minutes but you can almost expect that at such a tourist heavy airport.)

However bizarrely at passport control there was only one desk open, with around 600 - 700 passengers from various flights trying to pass through. I was very near the front of the queue and could see one family's passports get checked, then all of a sudden the border control officer looked up, saw the queue and just started waving everybody through without checking a single passport.

I basically entered Spain from England without having my passport checked once. Okay it was glanced at by Ryanair staff when boarding but this is just to match the name to the name on the ticket.

Does anybody know if this is the norm at PMI? Basically anybody can enter the country without any sort of checks?

I'm more curious than anything, I would have thought security would be heightened in this day and age.
 
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Channex757
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:42 pm

I've arrived at ALC before now and there wasn't even one person on the security kiosks! The whole flight just walked through.
 
richcandy
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:44 pm

Until fairly recently it was unusual for the French to check UK passports.
 
unimproved
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:04 pm

Like 80%+ of traffic at PMI is Schengen, and they don't do a lot of passport checks because of that. If it's anything like the other Spanish airports I've been at it's basically a single hall where everyone gets dropped off, and if you have 600-700 people with maybe 200 from the UK mixed in they're not going to check everyone.
 
ktof
Topic Author
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:09 pm

unimproved wrote:
Like 80%+ of traffic at PMI is Schengen, and they don't do a lot of passport checks because of that. If it's anything like the other Spanish airports I've been at it's basically a single hall where everyone gets dropped off, and if you have 600-700 people with maybe 200 from the UK mixed in they're not going to check everyone.


That's fair enough!
PMI is not my typical place to go on holiday, nor is Spain in general so I think I was just taken by surprise more than anything.

It's good to know for future reference though.
 
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moo
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:14 pm

richcandy wrote:
Until fairly recently it was unusual for the French to check UK passports.


In the past 10 years I've traveled to France from the UK about 30 times, and every time I have had my passport checked by the French authorities at the border...
 
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nighthawk
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:55 pm

unimproved wrote:
Like 80%+ of traffic at PMI is Schengen, and they don't do a lot of passport checks because of that. If it's anything like the other Spanish airports I've been at it's basically a single hall where everyone gets dropped off, and if you have 600-700 people with maybe 200 from the UK mixed in they're not going to check everyone.


Schengen and non-schengen traffic should be segregated. UK citizens have a right to enter Spain, so passport checks are just a formality. Spain requests Advanced Passenger Information be sent beforehand, so they already have the names and passport details of all passengers onboard the flight.

Last time I flew to Spain, I was waved straight through with no checks.
 
richcandy
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:03 pm

moo wrote:
richcandy wrote:
Until fairly recently it was unusual for the French to check UK passports.


In the past 10 years I've traveled to France from the UK about 30 times, and every time I have had my passport checked by the French authorities at the border...


Really, you have been unlucky! I travel to and from France once a month and have done so for the past 8 years. I live in France but have a house in the UK and family in both the UK and Ireland. I doubt I have had my passport checked 10 times by French passport control.
 
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ro1960
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:29 pm

richcandy wrote:
moo wrote:
richcandy wrote:
Until fairly recently it was unusual for the French to check UK passports.


In the past 10 years I've traveled to France from the UK about 30 times, and every time I have had my passport checked by the French authorities at the border...


Really, you have been unlucky! I travel to and from France once a month and have done so for the past 8 years. I live in France but have a house in the UK and family in both the UK and Ireland. I doubt I have had my passport checked 10 times by French passport control.


I've only traveled once by air to the UK with a French passport in recent years and I was checked both ways. I however travel frequently with the Eurostar and everyone gets checked both ways.
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:12 pm

richcandy wrote:
moo wrote:
richcandy wrote:
Until fairly recently it was unusual for the French to check UK passports.


In the past 10 years I've traveled to France from the UK about 30 times, and every time I have had my passport checked by the French authorities at the border...


Really, you have been unlucky! I travel to and from France once a month and have done so for the past 8 years. I live in France but have a house in the UK and family in both the UK and Ireland. I doubt I have had my passport checked 10 times by French passport control.


My experience is the same as moo... in fact we get checked by the French on the way *out* as well!
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cityairline
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:02 pm

ktof wrote:
Hi Everyone,

I basically entered Spain from England without having my passport checked once. Okay it was glanced at by Ryanair staff when boarding but this is just to match the name to the name on the ticket.


Okay, so what do you base that on? How do you know what the Ryanair staff ''glanced'' at during boarding?
How do you know that it was just to match the name on the ticket?
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CalTex
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:23 am

I've heard that PMI's immigration staff can be lax, but this takes the cake!
 
ktof
Topic Author
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:12 am

cityairline wrote:
ktof wrote:
Hi Everyone,

I basically entered Spain from England without having my passport checked once. Okay it was glanced at by Ryanair staff when boarding but this is just to match the name to the name on the ticket.


Okay, so what do you base that on? How do you know what the Ryanair staff ''glanced'' at during boarding?
How do you know that it was just to match the name on the ticket?


Well she certainly wasn't a member of border patrol staff.

She glanced at the name page of my passport, then my ticket then told me to board the aircraft. She didn't even look at my face so I'm not too sure what else she could have been doing.
 
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scbriml
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:10 am

My wife and I had the same thing when we flew to PMI in July - just waived through.

It's been pretty much the same in most EU countries for the last few years.
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euroflyer
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:50 am

nighthawk wrote:
unimproved wrote:
Like 80%+ of traffic at PMI is Schengen, and they don't do a lot of passport checks because of that. If it's anything like the other Spanish airports I've been at it's basically a single hall where everyone gets dropped off, and if you have 600-700 people with maybe 200 from the UK mixed in they're not going to check everyone.


Schengen and non-schengen traffic should be segregated. UK citizens have a right to enter Spain, so passport checks are just a formality. Spain requests Advanced Passenger Information be sent beforehand, so they already have the names and passport details of all passengers onboard the flight.

Last time I flew to Spain, I was waved straight through with no checks.


Many airports also use a segregation based on EU/EEA (Schengen and non-Schengen) and Non-EU/EEA (non-Schengen), so I don't think it's mandatory rule. AFAIK, PMI receives very few flights from countries out of EU or EEA, can anyone confirm ?
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XAM2175
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:34 am

Even so, there may have been passengers on-board who were not EU or EEA citizens and they should have received scrutiny as they were arriving from outside the Schengen Area.
 
sk736
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:26 pm

Nothing unusual here. As one poster said, API has been provided if you're travelling to Spain. It's also no big deal if your passport doesn't get checked becuase risk assessments are now largely intelligence led. Ultimately it was up to the immigration staff to decide how to manage the situation and they don't need the approval of anyone on this forum if they decide not to do checks.
 
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XAM2175
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:05 am

I have heard though of people being troubled upon departure from the Schengen Area because they haven't received an entry stamp.
 
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eurowings
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:54 am

i like immigration in Spain as it's almost always fast. PMI does get some non-EU/EEA flights (mostly Russia/Ukraine or North Africa) but they'll know when those flights are arriving.
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vhtje
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Sat Aug 06, 2016 1:42 pm

It's normal at PMI. As noted by other posters, there are non-Schengen gates at PMI. Flights from the UK are supposed to obviously use the non-Schengen gates and passengers be corelled through passport control on their way to baggage claim.

However... I have arrived into PMI on BA from LCY into a non-Schengen gate, and as such, gone straight to baggage claim without crossing a border. Other countless occasions we have used the non-Schengen gates, so have been corelled to passport control only to find it completely abandoned, so we've just walked through. I think on average my passport has only been checked maybe 50% of the time at PMI; we have a holiday home in Mallorca so use PMI multiple times a year.
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Kilopond
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:10 pm

Back in the nineties, I entered the US from both the Bahamas and from Mexico without any passport check. Also, FRA checkpoints tend to be totally unmanned in the early hours of public holidays so that anybody can just walk in.
 
Hywel
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:47 pm

I had a similar thing at GVA a few weeks ago - 3 flights from the UK had arrived at the same time and the non-Schengen immigration area only had 2 staff who looked completely disinterested - everyone with a burgundy coloured passport (from an EU member state) was just being waved through without it being checked at all.
 
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lesfalls
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Re: Bizarre Experience at PMI

Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:48 am

I have had a simmiler case when arriving in june in HAM from SVO and MXP in Feburary arriving from JFK. Both had only 2 staff. One for EU citizens and the other for everybody. For the EU passport line she just glanced and then let them go while for the non-eu passport holders they would take 5 mins per person. I find it quite ridiculous. It seems that European nations giver their citizens a lot of trust :)
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